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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spurrier on Georgia and "big game"

If you were looking for Steve Spurrier to be stoking the fires, you’ll be disappointed. The South Carolina head coach was in game week, respect-the-opponent mode on Sunday’s teleconference.

“It’s a big game. One of the biggest we’ve had here in awhile,” Spurrier said. “It should be an exciting day.”

The only slight was Spurrier referring to Georgia defensive coordinator “Lance” Grantham. Even that was forgivable: That's the name of South Carolina's director of ticket operations.

Either way, the Head Ball Coach was certainly impressed with Todd Grantham after watching the Louisiana-Lafayette game.

“I certainly respect what he’s done in one game,” Spurrier said. “I know he’s getting his defensive coordinator career started. But his team looked well-prepared and positioned to play, pretty much every snap except one.”

There were other kind words for Georgia:

- Georgia “had an excellent game on Saturday,” the coach said.

- Spurrier said Georgia “has maybe as good a pass rush as anybody in the country right now, the way it looked this past Saturday.”

- Bulldog punter Drew Butler is “maybe the best punter in the country.”

South Carolina has been dealing with NCAA issues, just like Georgia has with A.J. Green. The Gamecocks were without three key players: Tight end Weslye Saunders, cornerback Chris Culliver and tackle Jarriel King. Those guys haven't been cleared yet.

Spurrier saw that Georgia head coach Mark Richt has been strict about not commenting on the NCAA matters.

“I guess I’m like the Georgia coach, we’re not supposed to talk about it too much,” Spurrier said. “But we’ll do what the NCAA tells us to do with these players.”

A number of others in limbo were cleared just before the game, and Spurrier was hopeful they were good to go the rest of the way.

Asked if Green’s status would affect South Carolina’s approach, Spurrier demurred.

“But as we’ve learned, we probably won’t learn if he’s playing or not until Saturday morning,” Spurrier said of Green. “Or maybe Georgia may not know until then. Sometimes they don’t let us know until the last minute.”

Gamecock linebacker Shaq Wilson, the team’s leading tackler last year, missed the Southern Miss game with a hamstring injury and will “probably definitely” be out again. Antonio Allen, who starts as the Spur (hybrid safety-linebacker) has a chance to play.

Finally, in almost completely unrelated note, the coach was asked if, sitting back watching games on Saturday, any team impressed him.

“You mean other than Jacksonville State?” Spurrier replied.

Jacksonville State's nickname, in case you didn't know, is the Gamecocks.


William said...

I don't like a respectful OBC. Something... eery about it

Hobnail_Boot said...

The coaching graveyard that is Columbia can be an awfully humbling place.